Helicopter parenting

Helicopter parents, parents who take parenting to the extreme. Parents who take too much responsibility for their children’s lives and experiences, without allowing their children to experience things for themselves.

Helicopter parents over-parent. They will constantly involve themselves in their children’s lives in a controlling way and as a consequence become over-protective towards their children. They are less inclined to let their children make or live their own lives and will parent so their children’s choices are limited.

I was born to parents who parented that way and although the terminology of helicopter parenting refers to parents of high school age, helicopter parenting happens at any age. As a consequence of my childhood, I made a conscious decision that if I ever had children they would go on to live their own lives and experience their own experiences.

The main problem with helicopter parenting is that children end up struggling with confidence and self-esteem issues because they’re not encouraged to think and do things for themselves. They will also feel less competent to deal with potential stressful issues when they’re adults.

All children will be affected by this form of parenting, there’s no getting away from it. For many years not only did I feel guilty for not achieving anything of great significance in my life, I also felt aggrieved that I didn’t get to live a life, let alone experience what I should have experienced that potentially other children will have got to experience.

My Cerebral Palsy had nothing to do with the way I was parented. My siblings were all parented in the same way. I was cosseted and although it’s not something I can change now, it tends to end with the loss of the parent.

6 Jan, 2015

4 thoughts on “Helicopter parenting

  1. I heard this term on the radio a couple of years ago, but I guess, as you experienced, there are degrees of interference and control involved.

    I had the opposite of helicopter parenting; non-existent parenting as they simply couldn’t cope with my ‘boisterous’ behaviour. It was the best thing my parents ever did!

    As you have explained in other posts, you learned from the way you were parented and were able to change it. That way it was a valuable lesson, although hard for you at the time.

    1. In your case it sounds as though your parents did the best thing for you. You were lucky you got to live your life the way you wanted to live it.

      For me I wasn’t so lucky and yes they were very hard times, although I believe that kind of parenting has a lot to do with people’s insecurities and in some cases ones culture.

  2. I’ve also heard of this. I think my parents parented me this way but not my sister. I was very protected, not allowed to go and have my own experiences but my sister was.

    I didn’t parent my daughter this way though, or my step-daughter and I won’t be parenting my son this way even though he is special needs. I maybe a little cautious with him though right now, because he has no fear of anything due to atrophy of the frontal lobe of the brain.

    I ended up trying to make up for the experiences I missed out on when I was in my late teens and early twenties and it did not go very well.

    I was more rebellious than anything and put my parents through the wringer.

    1. I wouldn’t feel bad Lisa. That’s exactly what children do, when they’re not allowed to do anything.

      Your parents should have felt bad for holding you back. The potential you had, came later on because you lost your way a little. In my own case, I was too meek and mild to even think about rebelling. I was also aware of what the consequences would be and would have been less prepared to deal with the consequences.

      That said, regardless of our own insecurities, I still believe parents must put their children first. I missed out on all my milestones, but still didn’t rebel. My parents were lucky I didn’t.

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